Wednesday, November 25, 2009


This week, the group’s challenge was to go walk/run the 5 K “Turkey Trot” over in Marshall, IL. Eleven participants from BL showed up and at least one other did it later in the day on a treadmill. We also had a nice contingent from the gym make the trip over.

After we finished the 5 K, a couple people stopped me and asked how to go about losing some unwanted pounds around the middle. Later in the day, someone asked me what was better– counting calories, or points?

My answer is pretty much the same in both cases. In a lot of ways, it doesn’t really matter which program or plan you follow, it just matters that you’re following one. And perhaps more importantly, you need to be consistent in your approach.

That’s why having a goal like an upcoming 5 K race is so important. You know you have to do it, so you set up a training program so you’ll do better. There are a lot of different ways to train for the race, but in the end, it just matters that you’re consistent.

Show up for enough training, and you’ll improve your 5 K performance. You’ll also get in better shape as a result, and it’s likely that you’ll lose those unwanted pounds along the way.

It’s the same thing when looking at your diet. Whether you’re counting your calories to make sure you’re on target every day, or looking at points, what matters is that you’re doing something.

If you want to lose weight and you’re guessing about your food, know this. Guessing makes you fat. There’s plenty of research that shows people who track what they eat lose more weight than people that don’t track it.

What’s important then is that you track your eating. How you track it isn’t nearly as important. And once you start tracking it, like always, you need to be consistent to get results.

Keep a daily diary or calorie log. Keep track of your points. You might use an online service—there are plenty of them out there, many of which are free.

In your workouts, the most important thing is not what you do. You don’t have to subject yourself to my killer boot camp workout to get what you want. What matters is that you do something, and you do it often. Changing it up will help keep results coming, but it’s the day to day work that really matters.

It’s showing up when your workout partner doesn’t. It means scheduling your workouts, with a high enough priority that they don’t get bumped when other things come up. I’ve known plenty of people who intended on getting to the gym, but… and then 2 months have gone by.

Plenty of people lose the weight, but then put it right back on because they can’t be disciplined enough to keep at it. Someone said “so I really need to exercise for the rest of my life, right?” Yes. Absolutely.

At the end of week eight, we’re two thirds of the way through the program and it’s easy to see who’s been consistent in their approach. It’s been a pretty small group (compared to a previous high of 68). I’m anticipating that BL 10, which starts right after Christmas, will be quite a bit bigger.

This time around we started with just 28 people. At the end of week eight, only 13 made the weigh-in out of the 21 people that are left. That means that 25% of the people have quit, and another 25% aren’t being consistent in their approach.

But of the people that made this week’s weigh-in, all of them have lost weight. Sure, some have lost more than others, but the fact remains that everyone who is showing up has lost some weight.

At this stage of the game, it’s the most important factor. Over the next four weeks, I’ll keep changing up the workouts and adding intensity, but it’s all about showing up. As I told them at the start, “half of you are going to quit for one reason or another—which half are you going to be in.” We’ve got four weeks left to see whether that will be true.

The winner this week was Michelle Nugent, who lost 2.4% of her body weight and 3.4 lbs. She’d had a slight gain at midweek, and I’d told her not to worry about it. She’d been very consistent in getting in her workouts, especially training for the 5 K. Michelle won a $15 gift card from Terry Elston and State Farm Insurance and has lost 23.4 lbs in 8 weeks.

Second place went to Nita Comstock, who also turned it up this week in preparation for the 5K. She lost 1.6% of her body weight and 2.3 lbs. So far Nita’s lost 15.0 lbs. Third place went to Cathy Kemper, who lost 1.1% of her body weight and 2.0 lbs.Fourth place went to Karen Brown, who lost 1.0% of her body weight and 2.6 lbs. So far, she’s down 29.6 lbs, the most in the group. Fifth place went to Janet Tyler, who lost about .08% of her body weight, and 1.4 lbs.

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